FONS encourages public support of new campaign

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The Friends of the Northumberland Strait have launched a new campaign to ensure the province sticks to its promise to close the Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility in January 2020.

Last week, the group premiered a new video, Pictou Landing, and officially launched the Declaration of Support for the Closure of Boat Harbour on Schedule.

Pictou Landing was filmed and edited by Mark Lang, an Australian singer-songwriter who learned about Boat Harbour from his friend and frequent collaborator, local musician Dave Gunning. Gunning says Lang recorded many interviews with local residents, fishermen and others, and that although the current video is just a few minutes long, Lang “has enough material for a full documentary.” It includes many overhead shots of the Boat Harbour area itself, which most people have never seen up close.

Jill Graham-Scanlan, president of Friends of the Northumberland Strait, says the group organized the event and the Declaration because “this is not a time to be silent.”

Graham-Scanlan says with Northern Pulp now asking for a possible extension to the deadline to close Boat Harbour, now is the time for everyone “to take a public stand in support of Pictou Landing First Nation. The PLFN community has clearly and repeatedly said they want Boat Harbour closed on schedule. We are asking people to say, we stand with you, we support your decisions, you are not alone.”

While there were no local politicians in attendance at the video’s premiere, messages of support were sent from Progressive Conservative MLAs Tim Houston and Karla MacFarlane, provincial NDP environment critic Lenore Zann, Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan, New Glasgow councillor Frank Proudfoot, as well as Central Nova MP Sean Fraser.

The Declaration of Support for the Closure of Boat Harbour can be signed online at friendsofthenorthumberlandstrait.ca. More than 1,500 signatures have already been gathered to date. The video can be viewed on the FONS Facebook page and website, or at https://youtu.be/DDYwZO9Ot44. The song Pictou Landing, written and performed by Mark Lang and featured on the soundtrack for the video, will be available soon on Spotify.